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Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The EPA finalized rules on Thursday that remove Clean Water Act protections for many seasonal streams and wetlands — and one gauge of how consequential the changes are for major industries like agriculture and oil producers, who applauded the move, and green groups is to look at the final stages of the regulation's drafting.

Why it matters: Meetings with the White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) give regulated industries, environmentalists and others a final chance to try and influence regulations.

How it works: OIRA keeps a tally of who met with their people and EPA staff after EPA sent them the final rule for review.

  • The records list 32 meetings with outside parties dating back to 2018, which encompasses both the recision of Obama-era protections and the new regulation that greatly scales back oversight.

Parties who made their pitch in recent weeks include:

  • The American Petroleum Institute
  • The American Forest and Paper Association
  • The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
  • Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
  • The Waters Advocacy Coalition, an industry umbrella group of entities like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Home Builders.
  • The Natural Resources Defense Council

Go deeper: Trump administration set to remove protections for waterways

Go deeper

12 mins ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

Senate Democrats unveil new income tax for billionaires

Sen. Ron Wyden. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday released a billionaires' tax proposal, designed to help support President Biden's social spending and climate change legislation.

Why it matters: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the Billionaires Income Tax would raise "hundreds of billions of dollars" and would affect approximately 700 taxpayers who have more than $1 billion in assets or incomes of over $100 million a year.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

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